Steve Jobs was Google’s first choice for CEO
Way back in 2000, Google was just getting rolling, but its backers in the venture capital world decided the fledgling search giant needed “adult supervision” by way of a more experienced CEO than Google co-founders Larry Page and Serge Brin.
Venture capitalist John Doerr immediately came aboard to arrange some interviews between Page and Brin and many of the finest business minds in Silicon Valley. Page and Brin met with Intel’s Andry Grove, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and several others.
All were rejected, though. Why? Because Page and Brin had only one person in mind for the position: Steve Jobs.
It’s an interesting alternate history to consider. If Steve Jobs had come aboard Google in 2000, we’d probably be looking at a very different world right now… one in which Google boasted retail stores and people waited outside of them all night for tablets. A world in which Android boasted the walled garden, and one in which Apple remained an extremely niche computer maker concentrated entirely upon the desktop, as opposed to the most valuable company in tech largely through their mobile innovations.
Of course, in 2000, Jobs wasn’t available. He’d triumphantly returned to Apple back in 1998, and in 2000, he was busy preparing the release of the original iPod, which was about to revolutionize the company and open the door for everything from the iPhone to the iPad.
Instead, Page and Brin were convinced to widen their net of possible CEOs. Eventually, in 2001, Brin and Page were persuaded to hire Google’s current CEO Eric Schmidt. He’s no Steve Jobs, but no one can argue he’s steered the company wrong over the course of the last decade.
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